CoisCéim in collaboration with RHA Gallery

World Premiere | November 2017

Choreography | David Bolger
Designer/Media Artist | Christopher Ash

The BODY LANGUAGE project has been in development for almost four years as David Bolger explores and interrogates non verbal communication through choreography.

It is an extraordinary journey that will culminate in final development session with David and Designer/Media Artist Christopher Ash in April 2017 and result in a major collaborative work with RHA Gallery. 

In parallel with BODY LANGUAGE, BROADREACH will conduct ARMOUR, a participation performance project led by Philippa Donnellan.


2016 Development Notes 

David Bolger and Christopher Ash came back together in the CoisCéim studio for a week in November 2016, this time working with dancer Ryan O’Neill and non dancers.  These sessions concentrated on stripping back the conundrum of choreography (planned movement) and body language (unplanned movement) to consider the structure of the performance mechanisms. Using multuple projectors with live and recorded feeds these sessions also aimed to define the overall form of the final work.

Photos: Christopher Ash


2015 Development Notes 

Following on from BODY LANGUAGE 101, David Bolger spent two weeks in the studio in November 2015 with designer and projection artist Christopher Ash and dancers Justine Cooper and Jonathan Mitchell to explore the subject of non verbal communication further in the digital as well as physical realm.

 Nuance, detail, subtle themes and contrasts picked up by the camera were explored and studied together with looking at how body language changes as we age. David Bolger and Christopher Ash will now reflect on this process with the intention of coming back together with the dancers this time next year to move the creative process forward. Final production of this work is now anticipated in 2017.


BODY LANGUAGE 101 | Initial Development Sessions & Showings in November 2014

DIRECTOR’S NOTE by David Bolger from BODY LANGUAGE 101 Programme: 

“It is said that over 65% of all our communication is non-verbal. We receive information through body language, gesture, posture, how we look, what we sound like and the clothes we choose to wear. The tells and clues that are sent out from our limbic system (the “emotional brain”) are unplanned and natural. It is difficult to make our body language lie. As a choreographer I am naturally inquisitive about body language. Is it possible to choreograph a work about it and be true to the spontaneous nature of our behaviour? Today we are sharing some of the work and sketches that we have made over the last three weeks of studio research. They are not finished, but rather the start of our journey into the fascinating science of the body. ‘The flesh made word’ as it were.
I would like to thank the dancers Emma, Justine and Mitch for the passion they bring to our daily research, to all at CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Science Gallery Dublin, St Patrick’s College and everyone who has help us get this far. I look forward to and welcome your feedback, which will help form part of the findings and outcome of BODY LANGUAGE as we continue development over the next two years.” 
David Bolger, 14 November 2014

BODY LANGUAGE 101 was part of a collaboration between CoisCéim Dance Theatre, Science Gallery Dublin and Shimmer to investigate and further understand non verbal communication.  It had a special focus on audience experience and how to measure this in a meaningful way.

Choreography, Design and Video Sequences David Bolger
Dancers  Justine Cooper, Jonathan Mitchell, Emma O’Kane
Sound  Ivan Birthistle, Vincent Doherty
Intern  Fiona Patten
Photography  Luca Truffarelli
Special Thanks to Stephanie Ryan, Patrick Sutton & Smock Alley Theatre, Rua Red Gallery, the LAB and St Patrick’s College



18 November 2014 | St Patrick’s College | Drumcondra, Ireland
19 November 2014 | South Dublin Arts Centre | Tallaght, Ireland
20 November 2014 | The Lab | Dublin, Ireland
21 November 2014 | Smock Alley Theatre | Dublin, Ireland
25 November 2014 | St. Patrick’s College | Drumcondra, Ireland**
**part of CoisCéim’s Residency at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.



Justine Cooper Head ShotOriginally from New Zealand, Justine worked with Australian Dance Theatre between 1998–2000 under the direction of Meryl Tankard. Returning to New Zealand in 2001, she co-founded Strident Dance Theatre, performing and co-creating five full-length pieces. She has been a freelance teacher of ballet, contemporary dance and yoga for many years whilst also working on various film and television projects. Most recently working with Emma Martin Dance (Tundra, Dogs and Listowel Syndrome), CoisCéim Dance Theatre (Agnes and Dance Talking: Portraits of a Dancer), Louise White (Way Back home), junk ensemble (Dusk Ahead, Bird with Boy), Liz Roche Company (Body and Forgetting, Fast Portraits, These Two People and Secondary Sources), Liv O’Donoghue (Prompted Breathless and The Way We Met),and was a founding member of electro DIY sound theatre band You can call me Frances.


J.Mitchell feb 2013

Jonathan was born in England and moved to Dublin in 1999. He trained at the Rambert School, London, graduating in 1992. Work with CoisCéim includes Agnes,Pageant, Mermaids, The Rite of Spring and When Once is Never Enough. He has worked with leading companies in the UK including: Adventures in Motion Pictures, Mathew Hawkins, Imlata and Dundee Rep Dance Company and Irish companies IMDT and Liz Roche Company. In December 2012 Jonathan made his debut on the Abbey Stage in Frank McGuinness’ adaptation of James Joyce’s The Dead. Since 2008 Jonathan has also been a dance photographer, with a particular focus on location photography, and has photographed some of the premier dance artists in the country including IMDT, Liz Roche Company, Fearghus Ó Conchuir and Emma Martin. In 2009 he was commissioned by Dance Ireland to create a photographic exhibition still, life which now forms part of the permanent collection. In 2012, Jonathan received an Arts Council Dance Bursary Award to explore the integration of still images into the choreographic process.

Emma O'KaneEmma trained at the Perm State Choreographic School, Russia. She has been a member of CoisCéim Dance Theatre since 2001 and won Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Dancer Of The Year 2010 for her role in Faun. Recent credits include The Dead (Abbey Theatre) Farm (WillFredd Theatre), Codes (MIDASpaces), and Trash (Project Arts Centre). Emma has also been a company member of the The Nizhny Novgorod State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Russia.  Her recent choreographic work includes Farm, (WillFredd), Laundry (ANU Productions), Four Told, (Project Arts Centre), Signature and Solo Collectives (CoisCéim Broadreach).  Assistant Director credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera Ireland) and Macbecks (Long Road Productions). Emma also co-created and performed The Ballet Ruse with Muirne Bloomer, ABSOLUT Fringe 2010 nomination for Best Production, and was part of the Culture Ireland Showcase in Edinburgh 2011, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2011 Total Theatre Award shortlist. Emma is a member of Dance Ireland and Project Arts Centre.
Photos: Luca Truffarelli


P          sThe LabRUARED_BLACKsmock_logo_bw